Death by Grape Soda
We went to bed early on our twelfth anniversary.
I was battered and bruised from the marathon of having a baby three days prior, and Josh and I were both exhausted. We did have steak and good ice cream that evening, but when our heads hit the pillows, we promptly slept. (For a few minutes anyway, until the baby woke up hungry again.)
Every year is an adventure, but I have a lovely marriage and a wonderful husband. I wouldn’t trade a bit of it.
So it came as a shock to him when I nearly killed my husband in the kitchen this past week.
That sounds like something from the boardgame Clue. “Mommy did it, in the kitchen, with a bottle of grape soda…”
I’m learning the benefits of fermenting different types of foods. Many foods like wheat, dairy, and lots of veggies, are much more healthy and their vitamins more accessible if you give certain enzymes a chance to break down the less digestible stuff before you get to them. Currently, I’ve got sauerkraut souring on the laundry room shelf, kombucha (a healthy tea drink) condensing on the top of the fridge, sourdough starter sleeping inside the fridge, and a ginger bug going great guns in a jar on the counter.
The ginger bug is used to make healthy homemade soda. It’s not really an insect; just a jar of sugar water and chopped up ginger. Enzymes from the ginger break down the sugar and release carbon dioxide. A mix with some of this bubbly water and some juice or tea will result in a fizzy refreshing beverage.
At least in theory.
I started my jar of ginger water over a week ago and finally had it bubbling and ready. I’m not one for measuring more than I have to, so I dumped a bunch of the liquid into a glass bottle with some grape juice and plugged it tight. Then I left it on the counter to let the good little bacteria (bacterias? bacteriae?) eat the sugar and make lots of fizz.
Which they did.
About 9:33 p.m., according to the police report (just kidding, ha…) my husband was sitting on a kid chair in the corner of the kitchen, scrolling through the news on his handy little smart phone. I was sweeping up the dining room and silently grumbling about the lack of time in a measly 24 hour day. The boys were in bed; the baby was half-asleep in the living room waiting for his bedtime snack from mommy. All was quiet.
Suddenly, a shotgun blast reverberated through the house. Yikes! I peeked around the corner into the kitchen. Josh had jumped up and was feeling all over his shirt for holes. Glass was everywhere. Everywhere. Purple grape blood dripped off the counter and oozed from a growing puddle toward nomansland under the fridge. Miraculously, he hadn’t been touched by any glass shards, though they had landed all around him. We both took a deep breath and thanked God it was only a big mess. I shoved my bare feet into some shoes and we started sopping up the fizzy purple puddles, sweeping glass splinters, wiping walls, the fridge, the counters and all the appliances on them… So much for going to bed early.
As I bent over the mop, late into that night, I had time to reflect on my marriage. Those glass bits were sharp, unexpected, and quick. Just a few minutes before the explosion, he had been leaning against the counter inches from the pressurized bottle. I could have lost my husband in a moment. I suppose it’s more likely he would gotten bad scratches all over his face, maybe lost an eye or gotten a literal close shave. But it did make me appreciate the life of my husband. I could have been widowed at age 31, with a newly-minted fifth child and a mortgage, and would suddenly have been very much alone.
One third of my life has been spent married, but I can’t imagine living without him now.
Whom else could I argue with over finances and yet he’d still want me to buy groceries with his paycheck the next day?
Who else would critique my cooking in the morning and still expect a nice dinner at night?
Whom else could I ask if these pants make me look fat?
Who else could take up three quarters of the bed most nights and yet I can’t sleep without him there?
Who else could watch me go through childbirth five times (I don’t make it look pretty) and kiss me joyfully after each birth?
Who else can occasionally leave me speechless in anger and yet still make me blush and forget my words like a giddy schoolgirl when he walks into the room?
Whom else could I blame for my kids’ tendencies and hair color? (Hint: not their mother… 🙂 )
Who else will offer to order a pizza while I’m too busy to make dinner because I’m researching organic food?
Who else could smack the mosquito on my head and expect a thank you?
Who else knows what I’m thinking by the twitch of my mouth?
Who else could still want to hug me after being nagged for most of the day?
Who else could find me beautiful through every season, every gained curve from pregnancy and wrinkle from toddlerhood and sag from preschool and white hair from the elementary years?
Who else would show me that the place of submission is a place of rest rather than restlessness?
Who else can say that everything legally in his name is for me to freely use?
Who else will keep me up late at night just to eat ice cream and research wheelchair sports together?
My marriage isn’t perfect. It’s real. And I don’t always appreciate it until it is shaken. For instance, like a bottle of grape soda.
Billy Graham’s wife, the late Ruth Graham, said, “A good marriage is simply the union of two good forgivers.”
The next morning, he caught me in the kitchen by the coffee maker.
“I’m sorry I almost killed you with my ginger bug.” I murmured into his shirt as I hugged him.
“It’s OK; it didn’t work.” He smiled down at me. “I’ll buy you a new bottle.”
Word of advice – keep your marriage free of fermentation. Hope the next dozen years are as great an adventure as the first.